Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Charles Simonyi, the next space tourist wants to have a Library in Outer Space

Charles Simonyi and International Space Station

It has been decided, the world’s next space tourist will be the Hungarian-born American software developer and co-founder of Microsoft, Charles Simonyi. On February 18, Simonyi arrived in Moscow for final training before he sets foot aboard the international Space Station (ISS) on April 7.

Simonyi, the software wizard said that he has plans of conducting experiments in orbit as ordered by the European Space Agency. However, the American software developer will also carry out his own scientific program, which will concentrate heavily on a medical experiment that will study radiation effects on human beings.

Charles Simonyi also said that he would love to see a library in outer space. “Everywhere where humans are, I think there should be a library,” said the 58-year-old Simonyi. He also pointed out that in spite of weight limitations, he would pack two indispensable books in his space pack, one of which will be “Faust” by German master Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, and another “The moon is a harsh mistress” by science fiction writer Robert Heinlein.

Regarding why Simonyi would bring along extremely heave and that too hard copies of the books, in a day and age when nearly all things are virtually available, he insisted that having the books would be more practical, especially since permission would be needed to use the computers while remaining inside the International Space Station.

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